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throwback. 5/11/2013

Sometimes the words find you and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they leave you stranded and wanting. Wanting to organize your mind into paragraphs and words and sentences and clauses and decorate them with periods and question marks and the like. Wanting to show the world a colored picture painted from twenty six black and white brushes. They refuse to come until they are forced, unbidden from their hiding places, to show the world what it has not known. To show the world what it has not felt. To show the world a thing in which it has not seen before. Until change pushes them into the open, the words will stay hidden. Safe.

It is in this moment, as I sit remembering a time alone, riding parallel against a train, that the words finally make their way to the surface. They choose to come, after much poking and prodding and faltering at the keyboard. They come, but they are neither moving nor beautiful. The taste of words that will not come, complete nothingness, is bitter on my tongue and I can feel the tingle of wanting that creeps down my spine as I search for the words that seem to be always evading me.

The longer I sit and concentrate on the words, the longer I force myself into the loneliness of that moment with the train, the easier it becomes to find the words that have tried to bury themselves. The longer I sit in solitude and darkness, the more the repressed memories seem to push and pull and tug at the words, driving them into the world that I and they too, are afraid of but must eventually face.

When finally, those words do come, they bring with them pain and perhaps in the end, some comfort. It becomes a miserable game of searching and finding and just so an unappreciative world might know, even for a second that I existed. It is difficult to discuss the depth in which the words are written; a code that will never be fully understood, perhaps even by its author.

To think, all of this because I kept the company of a train today and it seemed not to mind. It did not whisper to me words of wisdom, nor did it offer advice. It simply travelled along side of me and for a small moment, I was not quite so alone as I had felt. For a moment, the strange desire to find those lost words ceased. For a moment, there was no need to explain myself to the world.

Alas, the train was not destined to quiet longing in my heart for the words. It was merely meant to give me a moment of peace away from the things that I could not – cannot – control.

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blank words.

The feelings are there,
but the words aren’t.
How can you share understanding,
if you can’t put it in sound?
How can you share
the things inside your head,
if the words come out jumbled,
and plain;
when what is spinning
around inside your head,
is kind of like seeing the sunset,
on a soldiers folded flag,
while his widow weeps,
and the world comes together
to mourn him.
It’s like that.
it’s beauty and pain,
hope and rage,
and how do you put that into words,
because even this,
just isn’t enough.

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how to be brown.

don’t be.

your brown skin,
how could it ever be –
so beautiful as mine.
your brown words,
how could they ever be –
so perfectly refined.
you’re just an imperfection,
a blemish on society.
you weren’t no slave,
you ain’t no slave,
your people put you there,
anyway. anyway.

how to be brown –
don’t be.

don’t protest with your peace.
don’t want your brownness near me.
keep your brown crime, brown violence
in your broken brown town.
do you speak English?
try acting white sometime.
here’s a tip on
how to be brown.

just don’t be.

**I hope that if you are reading this, you understand that this poem is not meant to insult people who are brown, but as a form of protest against racism.

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gun smoke.

I see you, ready for war
with your gun and your attitude.
I see you there, armed too
with your judicial vigilantism;
your sentence would be swift,
in theory. Painless even.
I am not blind to what you see.
I see the world for what it is;
broken, but beautifully so.
broken, but tragically so.

I hope you never have to see
the aftermath of what I know
you’re capable of. I hope.
So beautiful through the haze
of a gun that’ll never stop smokin’.
Thing is, the thing is,
they were beautiful too.
Broken, but beautifully so.
Broken, but tragically so.